What an incredible job the Gamecocks did last week. Controlled playing, disciplined execution, spontaneous responses, and excellent kicking — all came together to turn the Tide around. It was such a joy to watch and cheer.
I had been watching the Gamecocks for 10 years before becoming a student at USC in 1970. My family transitioned from watching the Lawrence Welk Show on Saturday nights when we were kids to watching Gamecock Football as we grew to be teenagers, and were looking forward to attending USC upon graduation from high school.
It really became a family tradition during college football season. The seven of us kids, our parents, and any friends that wanted to come over, would gather in our big den to watch and cheer our favorite college team. My mom would have the same menu at every Saturday football gathering — it became a family tradition — Pizzas from the Hut, a big salad, mini ears of corn on the cob and bottles of iced Coca-Cola. Those were some of the most wonderful times, and I wouldn't trade them for anything.
We grew up playing football in the front yard. My Dad would quarterback and we would run scrimmages every Sunday afternoon, warm or cold. My Dad was the biggest kid out there, but he was also one of the best coaches a little child could have. Of course, there were enough of us to make two teams, and I used to laugh because I told my youngest brother that we used to use him for a football before he could walk. He believed me for quite a while.
I was the kicker. I loved to punt more than anything else in the world. Punt, punt, punt. Out into the road, on top of the house, into the bushes, into the plate glass window, and occasionally it would sail across over the heads and into our "goals." I have an extra wide right foot as a souvenir of my passion for punting — it's still hard to get shoes that fit right sometimes.
Enough reminiscing; let's talk about the upcoming Kentucky Wildcat game. From the clips I saw of last week's Auburn game, it looks like the Wildcats made a real recovery in the locker room over halftime, and almost came back with enough renewed vigor to overtake the Tigers. Almost, but not quite enough — about a field goal's distance away from tying the game. That's scary. Auburn is undefeated. We certainly learned to keep on ticking when we took our lickin' from them, but Kentucky almost overtook them. Something we need to keep in the back of our minds. So my advice, Uncle Steve, in my most utterly humble opinion, is to keep them so busy first half that they get too tired out to even approach a rally in the second half.
And another thing – this one directed to Uncle Ellis – again only with the greatest of deference to your coaching – we need to keep old Randall Cobb in check. He can be mighty crafty when he needs to be. His cohort, linebacker Danny Trevathan also needs someone to cover him that can match his strength. He wants to force Garcia down the minute the ball is snapped, and he's just the man that can do it. So, offensive line, do your stuff. I didn't even recognize you in last week's game, the improvement was incredible! Keep young Steven G. on his feet.
Just remember, Kentucky wants a bowl bid, so they are out for blood. They can taste this win and they want it bad. I'm hoping that you all want it even more, team.
Let's mix it up this week in our food offerings! Let's do a little Kentucky-South Carolina fusion. Every dish will be reminiscent of both the lovely Palmetto State and good ole Kentuck. Maybe someone can hum a few refrains of "My Old Palmetto-Kentucky Home, Goodnight." I'm thinking a little Daniel Boone and Francis Marion cuisine, with ingredients that are indigenous to both states. You get the idea, we're going to have a taste of both states for this game.
Travel safely, Gamecock fans and team. Let's hear some real lively cheering coming from the stadium on Saturday. Drink in the lovely autumn air while you're there. I'm sure the leaves will be well into their annual foliage change by this weekend. I can't wait for this game; it's going to be truly exciting. Go Gamecocks!!!
• 1 hen, about 4 to 5 lbs, or about 4 pounds chicken parts
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 6 ounces lean smoked ham, diced
• 4 cups chicken broth
• 1 large can (28oz) whole tomatoes, drained and cut up
• 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
• 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
• 1 medium bay leaf
• 1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh shelled lima beans or 1 package (10oz) frozen and thawed
• 2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen and thawed
Cut chicken into pieces: 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 wings, and cut the two breast halves in half again. You should have 10 pieces. Trim of as much fat as possible. Rinse and let drain. In a shallow bowl, mix the flour, salt, pepper, thyme and cayenne. Dredge the damp chicken pieces in the seasoned flour.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Dredge the chicken again if the coating looks damp; shake any excess back into the bowl. Reserve the excess seasoned flour. Add the chicken pieces to the pan in a single layer without crowding, in batches if necessary, and cook, turning, until golden brown, about 7 minutes per batch. Lower the heat if necessary about 1/2 way through, so the fat doesn't burn. Remove the chicken to a large oven save casserole, Dutch oven, or baking dish. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the onions to the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the ham and cook until lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes longer. Sprinkle the reserved seasoned flour over the ham and onions and cook, stirring, just to blend in, about 30 seconds.
Pour in half of the chicken broth. Bring to to a boil, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Pour everything in the skillet over the chicken in the casserole. Add the tomatoes, the remaining stock, the green and red pepper, and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, 15 minutes. Add the lima beans and corn and simmer uncovered until the chicken and vegetables are tender, 12 to 15 minutes longer. Skim excess fat from top. Remove and discard the bay leaf and season with additional salt and pepper to taste before serving.
Carolina Hot Garnet
For each open-faced sandwich:
1 slice ham, browned lightly in a little butter on each side
1 thick slice French bread, toasted, then rubbed with garlic and spread with butter.
2 slices S.C. tomatoes
2 slices Peppered Bacon, cooked crisp
1 slice Havarti cheese, Muenster cheese or Smoked Gouda
For the sauce:
Drippings from frying slices of ham
1 c. brewed coffee
Pinch salt/fresh ground pepper.
Assemble sandwiches--- bread, fried ham, tomatoes, bacon, cheese—toast on low until cheese melts.
While sandwiches are toasting, heat pan with drippings, whisk in the coffee and season with salt and pepper. Place in individual bowls for dipping, similar to au jus.
Serve with a hot bowl of grits.
Romaine, Pecan and Pear Salad
6 cups Romaine lettuce, washed and torn
1 cup radicchio, washed and torn
¼ cup parsley, chopped
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 Bosc pears, thinly sliced
1 cup pecans
¾ cup dried cherries or dried cranberries
¼ cup raspberry or red wine vinaigrette dressing
? cup feta cheese, optional
Place Romaine, radicchio, parsley and shallots in large bowl and toss gently. Arrange pears, pecans and dried cherries on greens.
Pour dressing over salad and toss. Top with feta cheese, if desired.
Dressing may be passed separately.
Bourbon Peach Cobbler
1 Cup Sugar
6 Cups Fresh Peaches, Peeled and Sliced
1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Jack Daniel's Black Label Tennessee Whiskey
1 1/2 Cups Whipping Cream
Preheat Oven 350 degrees
Melt Butter in saucepan. Add peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon, sugar and cream.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add whiskey and stir tenderly.
Cook for 15-20 minutes.
Pour mixture on the top of bottom layer of crust.
Cover top with whole crust or strips of crust in latticework pattern.
Bake for 45-50 minutes
2 Cups Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Sugar
6 Tablespoons Shortening
1/4 Cup Cold Water
Mix dry ingredients, add shortening and cut in with two knives or pastry blender.
Mixture should resemble coarse meal.
Add cold water gradually to make a ball.
Divide into two balls for top and bottom.
Roll out on floured surface with rolling pin.
Place on crust in bottom of pan add Filling top with remaining crust or strips of crust in latticework pattern.
Peach Brandy Julep recipe
For 1 serving:
2 fresh mint sprigs
1/2 oz Marie Brizard® peach liqueur
2 sweet, ripe peach wedges
2 oz cognac
Strip the leaves from one sprig of mint and muddle them together with the peach liqueur and wedges. Add cognac (or bourbon) and shake. Strain into a highball glass filled with crushed ice and stir until the outside of the glass frosts. Add more crushed ice, if needed. Garnish with a second mint sprig, and serve.
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